All things in nature have something to teach us. In fact, everything, whether in nature or not, has something to teach us, if we’re just open to learn. There is wisdom to be gleaned from every situation, every circumstance, every person, every thing. Life is symbolic on many, many levels, and symbolism is our most beautiful teacher.
Let’s look at trees. Here’s what trees give us on a practical level: Oxygen, shelter, food, protection, and beauty. I’m sure there are more, but those are what come to mind. And that would certainly be enough, as we need all of those to survive and be happy. But trees give us even more than that. On a metaphysical level, trees offer us much in the way of wisdom.
Trees are deeply rooted in both earth and sky and receive their nourishment from both. We humans, too, need nourishment, both physically and metaphysically, from both the earth and the sky. Physically, we need food from the earth and sunlight from the sky. We depend on both, all the time. Metaphysically, too, we need both earth and sky. Earth, in most traditions, is representative of the feminine, yin, and the sky masculine, yang. As humans, we stand between both yin and yang, masculine and feminine, earth and fire, and both need to be honored in order for us to have a fully human experience. Life isn’t necessarily about balance, but it is about harmony, and to live harmoniously we need to honor all parts of who we are.
Trees know when to bend with the wind. They bend as much as they are physically capable. Sometimes they break, often they don’t. They honor the forces of life around them and move with them as much as they are able. They don’t resist until it’s absolutely unavoidable. If we, as humans, want our lives to flow smoothly, then we, too, must learn to bend with the wind, to move with the flow of life rather than resisting it.
Trees know when to let go of their leaves and when to bare themselves. They know when one cycle is ending and a new one is beginning. Without seeing the coming winter or spring, they honor the fall by letting their leaves go. They are in tune with what is happening around them, and they act accordingly. In the winter, they stand naked, bare, awkward, willing to show the bare bones of who they are, because out of this nakedness comes the newness and beauty of spring. We, too, need to learn when to be vulnerable, when to let go, when to stand naked in our awkwardness in order to let new and beautiful parts of ourselves be birthed.
So you see, my friends, there is wisdom in everything. Trees just happen to be one of my favorites, and they offer much, much more than what I write about here. Life supports us, all the time and in many ways. Today, I encourage you to think symbolically and see what little gems of wisdom you can get from what is around you. I guarantee that if you’re open enough, you won’t be disappointed.